4 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home

Woman cleans her living room.

How many times have you heard New Year/New You? It’s true that millions of us make New Year’s resolutions, but what about resolutions that focus on your space? After all, your space is where you spend a lot of downtime, friend time and family time. Creating an inviting space, whether in your current one, or in a new one, could mean a happier and healthier New Year. It isn’t too late to amend or add to your New Year’s Resolutions and make a better home environment!

Bravely declutter: Take a moment to consider what came into your space last year that maybe wasn’t needed – the extra decorative box picked up at the vintage store, more coffee mugs received from co-workers during Secret Santa or yet another blue shirt because you had a coupon. Be courageous enough to edit down your personal belongings. Donate duplicate items and recycle things that don’t work or are in disrepair. If you aren’t sure about items, consider putting them in temporary storage with Zippy Shell and make the decision after living without them for a while.

Spruce up a single area or a single item: Sometimes planning for an update feels overwhelming. Consider focusing on a single objective in the New Year and make it happen. Ideas include:

  • New paint in one or more rooms
  • A new rug or some new flooring
  • Updating a single new fixture (like in the kitchen or bathroom)
  • Repairing something that’s been broken for a while
  • Adding fresh mulch or a few new plants to the landscape
  • Painting your door or adding a new wreath

Plan to recycle and save more energy (or recycle more): Recycling not only feels good, it does good. If you currently recycle, consider upping your game. If you don’t recycle, consider starting small until it becomes a habit. Small starts include unplugging electronic devices when not in use to reduce using phantom or vampire energy, taking reusable bags to the market, saving and recycling all of your plastics and cans during the week, opting for paperless billing or purchasing a reusable water bottle instead of buying water and drinks in plastic bottles. Next steps could include composting, buying local and eating seasonal and creating your own unique gift paper rather than purchasing wrapping paper or gift bags for birthdays, anniversaries and holidays.

Stay safe: Your space is your haven. Keep it safe by:

  • Checking for dryer lint. Most people know to check the lint filter at the front of the dryer, but did you know that there may be vents and ducts behind the dryer that could be a hazard and need attention, too?
  • Testing your detectors. Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are just two of the items in your space that need routine tests.
  • Changing a/c filters. Checking and changing the filters keeps your unit running more efficiently.
  • Checking for a fire extinguisher. Do you have an extinguisher in the kitchen? How about upstairs, if you have another floor? Check them and any expiration dates they may have.

As the New Year rolls in take time to consider more than just personal resolutions. Make a few resolutions for your space, too.  If you find you need extra space, give Zippy Shell a call! We would be happy to help you safely store some of those extra belongings!

5 Common Fire Hazards in Your Home

Family plays with cardboard box while unpacking

Home fires are dangerous and can result in devastating property damage and even loss of life. You may consider your home fire-safe, but you should always prepare for the unexpected. Having a fire-safety checklist with you when you are evaluating potential new properties or when updating/remodeling is a great way to help you spot potential hazards that might not be so obvious.

There are several common fire hazards, though, that you can easily identify. Taking steps now to remedy any of these hazards could save a life in the future.

  • Electrical Cords – The first step to reducing fire hazards caused by electrical cords is to make sure all major appliances are plugged directly into a wall receptacle outlet and not an extension cord. This includes refrigerators, dryers, washers, stoves, air conditioners, microwave ovens, and other large appliances. Keep in mind, too, that a surge suppressor is not made for heavy loads. Also, make sure all electrical cords are in good working condition and not broken, cut or frayed. Even old extension cords that look as if they are in good working condition may need to be replace from time to time.
  • Heating – To prevent fires, have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected each year. If you are purchasing a new home, be sure to ask about the last time these items were completed. Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from all heating equipment. This includes furnaces, fireplaces, wood stoves, and portable space heaters. Always use a fire screen or fireplace doors to contain sparks from your fireplace. While asleep or when you leave home always extinguish all fires and candles and unplug all heating appliances. Never assume that the fire will “burn down” or that the flame is contained.
  • Clothes Dryer – Fires involving clothes dryers are usually caused by accumulated lint, which is highly flammable. Lint can build up in both the lint trap and the venting system. The best way to prevent this fire hazard is to clean the lint trap on your clothes dryer with each and every load. It is also recommended to have your dryer vents professionally cleaned every 12 to 24 months.
  • Cooking – Unattended cooking is involved in the majority of kitchen fires. The best way to prevent these fires is to closely supervise your cooking. Also, remove clutter from your cooking area and keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from the stove top area.

  • Safety Tools – While there are things you can do to minimize fire risk in your home, be sure you have the tools on hand in case something happens. First and foremost is a working smoke detector. Test your smoke detector and ensure it works. Maintain it according to manufacturer directions and never, ever take the smoke detector down or disable it. Another key safety tool is a fire extinguisher. Every home should have at least one.

A fire can easily occur in your home, regardless of your home’s age, location, or condition. Take the time to reduce and eliminate as many fire hazards as possible before the holidays! 

How to Boost the Curb Appeal of Your Piedmont Triad Home

A Well Kept Home's Front Yard

What exactly is curb appeal? It is essentially how appealing your home looks when first viewed from the street, like a first impression. Of course, we all know first impressions can be nearly impossible to reverse or undo. Increasing your curb appeal can add thousands of dollars to the value of your Piedmont Triad home and cut the time it takes to sell. Even if you don’t plan on selling anytime soon, sprucing up your property can provide a more positive first and lasting impression!

  • The simplest way to boost curb appeal is to have a well-manicured lawn. Set the foundation for great curb appeal with healthy, evenly trimmed, weed-free grass. Next put any dead, dying, or sad-looking plants and shrubbery out of their misery and out of your yard. When bringing in new greenery, mix things up with a variety of plants that will bloom at different times during the season.
  • Create an inviting walkway to the door you use as your main entrance. Pavers or stone are extremely popular options for a beautiful walkway. Flank the area with colorful landscaping and incorporate illumination to finish the look.
  • Speaking of illumination, entryway lighting is crucial for setting a welcoming mood and providing security. A combination of pathway, landscaping, and entryway lighting is the perfect recipe for perfect curb appeal.
  • Add a splash of style to your home with bold, vibrant colors. Go big by painting your front door or front shutters with an exciting color or you can go smaller by adding vibrant accessories like flowers, planters or door decorations. Welcome signs, welcome mats and porch furniture are also a great place to incorporate pops of color.

Inspired yet? Just think of the amazing feeling you will get each and every time you drive up and realize that gorgeously maintained Piedmont Triad property is all yours! If you are looking to make a move to the Piedmont Triad area or need local storage services, give your local Zippy Shell of the Piedmont Triad a call at 336-499-3386 or visit our website to learn more!

7 Simple Steps to Protect Your Home When You Travel

A nice home exterior on a sunny day

According to a recent AAA travel survey, nearly 100 million of us are planning to take a family vacation this year, with 70 percent of those getaways happening during the summer months. And it is hard to imagine a worse ending to a summer vacation than returning to find that your home has been damaged or burglarized. To have peace of mind while you are on vacation, take time to protect your home with this checklist:

  • If you have a home security system, alert them of your travel plans and make sure the alarm is set properly when you leave. Display your security stickers prominently near your most obvious and accessible entry points like your front and back door.
  • Set timers on interior lights to give the illusion that someone is always home. Motion-sensor exterior lights can also prove to be useful for general home security when you are home and away.
  • Place a hold on mail, newspapers, and packages in your absence. Overflowing mailboxes and newspapers piled in the driveway are dead giveaways that you aren’t home.
  • Make a plan for lawn care maintenance. Have a friend or lawn care service mow the lawn at least once a week during your absence.
  • Alert a trusted friend or neighbor of your travel plans and have them check in every few days. They can take care of any unexpected deliveries and carry on with normal routines such as watering plants and bringing trash cans to the curb. 
  • Be prepared for a power surge while you are away. Unplug all electronics or make sure they are plugged safely into a surge protector.
  • Do not broadcast your travel plans on social media sites either before or during your vacation. Before your trip, inform only those who need to know. There will be plenty of time to share thoughts and photos of your vacation after you are safely home. 

If you are taking an extended leave from your home, we would love to talk to you about the storage solutions that Zippy Shell has to offer. Contact us today for a free quote and see how simple storing your belongings away while you travel can be!

Moving to the Piedmont Triad Area with Children

Family with children playing during a move

Whether your new home is in Greensboro, Winston-Salem, or a surrounding city, your new Piedmont Triad home is in one of the most family-friendly areas around! Your children will grow to love this area, but initially moving to a new city or town can be overwhelming for any child. And while you can’t totally eliminate the challenge of moving with kids, there are tips that can help ease the process. Here are our top tips for helping kids transition into your new life.

Give them something to be excited about. In the midst of saying goodbye to familiarity, do some research into the Piedmont Triad area to find events or attractions that will get them excited. There are a variety of family friendly attractions in this area that are open year round. You should have no problem finding something for everyone to enjoy at any age.

Involve them in the process whenever possible. Even the littlest task can make a difference in your child’s feelings towards their new home. Allow them to help you run a yard sale before packing. Give them markers and stickers to decorate their moving boxes. Let them help pick out decorations for their new room or choose where to eat dinner after a day of house hunting.

Give them space to say goodbye. Before your move, make one last trip to say goodbye to some of your child’s favorite places. You can also host a party at your old home as a celebration of the time your family spent there. Invite all of their closest friends for a special goodbye. 

Pack a “moving day” bag for each child. Pack a bag for each child that includes several of their very favorite belongings. Keeping these items close by can provide assurance throughout the move and allow access as soon as you arrive at your new home. You and your family are going to love the Piedmont Triad area! Zippy Shell is here to take the stress out of your move allowing you to focus on your family during this exciting time.

How to Prepare for Winter

As winter is beginning it is important to make sure you are prepared to weather the storm.

Insurance

First and foremost, make sure your home is insured, that way if you happen to have a home emergency involving a plumbing leak or a roof caving in from snow, you will not have an immense cost to worry about. It is also important to make sure your car is insured as well to avoid any damages caused by icy or snowy roads.

Thermostat

Slowly lower your thermostat during the day, and night as well, to prevent your wallet from taking a beating in the cold winter months. Bringing the temperature down by one degree a week can make a huge difference. If this is too difficult you can always layer up to make the adjustment easier.

Prep your car

Your car will go through a lot during winter weather. To make your drive more pleasant, throw an extra blanket and sweatshirt in your car for the drive while your car is still heating up. Make sure you also have a little shovel, salt, and window scrappers to avoid any problems resulting from snow.

Stock up

Stock your house with extra food and water in case you happen to get snowed in for an extended period of time. Keep extra shovels and snow salt in your garage to avoid having your car snowed in and having no way of getting out onto the road. Make sure you also have extra firewood if you have a wood fireplace, or have an extra gas insert if you have a gas fireplace. Candles, flashlights, and batteries should be easily accessible in case of a power outage.

Visit your doctor

Get an annual check-up to make sure you are healthy going into the cold winter season. Get a flu shot to avoid being bedridden for up to a week. Always remember to wash your hands and avoid sharing food or drinks with sick people. Check that your prescriptions are up to date as well.

Onsite Storage in the Piedmont Triad Area

A customer in the Piedmont Triad area was in need of storage space.  They were looking for extra storage that they could keep at their house to have easy access to the items they needed stored.  Luckily, Zippy Shell was able to provide a portable storage unit for them right at their home.  Our moving and storage professionals delivered the unit straight to their driveway.  Per their request, Zippy Shell easily maneuvered the unit into their backyard to be stored there.  The customer gained the perfect amount of storage space they needed without having the burden of taking up an entire space in their garage.
Zippy Shell’s portable storage units and onsite storage containers are perfect to serve any of your storage needs!  If you are looking for some extra storage space today, check us out for a quote here!

Redecorating in Houston, TX

Brian, a customer in Houston, Texas needed storage space while he was redecorating. To redecorate a few of the rooms in his home, he had to remove the furniture and other items in those rooms. He got a quote from Zippy Shell for a fair price and decided to have them store his items. Zippy Shell promptly arrived right at his house where their storage professionals helped Brian load up the portable storage unit with all his belongings. Zippy Shell transported the units back to their climate-controlled facility where the items stayed secure during the redecoration.
Once the redecorating was finished, Brian requested the items to be delivered back to his home. We helped Brian unload his furniture and move it all back into place. Brian gave Zippy Shell of Houston two thumbs up for bringing his items back safely! Give us a call today at 888-947-7974 for a free quote!

Store Your Belongings While Decluttering in North Texas

A customer in the North Texas area needed extra storage space while they cleaned out their home. After years of clutter piling up they finally decided it was time to get rid of some of their junk. In order to even be able to clean out their rooms, they have to remove big furniture items from multiple rooms as well as desks, tables, and chairs.
In need of a large storage unit, Zippy Shell was able to deliver two onsite storage containers right to the customers home. Our Zippy Shell professionals helped the customer load up everything they needed to be stored. The customer then was able to declutter their entire home thanks to the excess space they had after removing a lot of furniture.
The benefit of the onsite storage containers allowed the customer to access their belongings whenever they needed them without having to drive to a storage facility. The storage containers easily fit onto the customer’s driveway all while staying safe and protected for the entire storage period. Get a quote today for your Zippy Shell storage needs!

How to Eliminate Pet Odor When Selling your Home

You don’t want your house to smell of your pets while trying to sell your home. Use these tips to remove all unwanted pet odors from your house!

Clean off all your home’s floors

Your entire house is most likely covered in debris from your pet. Sweep and mop all your home’s hardwood floors to scoop up all the fallen pet hair and dander. Do this gently to prevent debris from getting swept up into the air. Vacuum every inch of carpet in your home, including small rugs.

Clean off furniture

If you allow your pet to go up on any of your furniture you will want to clean this off. Make a homemade mixture of equal parts water and vinegar and gently rub your leather couches with this on a cloth. For cotton couches, use a small vacuum and/or a vacuum hose to get the hard to reach spaces.

Steam clean

You’ll want to use a steam cleaner on any of your carpets to remove odors that have become trapped in the carpet’s fibers. Make sure the carpets are dry before allowing anyone or your pet back on them.

Wash all your linens

Put all your mattresses, pillowcases, sheets, couch cushions, etc. that could have picked up any pet odors through the washing machine. Air dry these to avoid damaging them in the dryer.

Air out

Change your home’s air filters to allow clean air to flow in and out. Open some of your windows to let the old air flow out and new, fresh air flow in.

Add a new fresh scent

Light some candles or install some air fresheners in each room to create a refreshing smell in your rooms.